POSTED: Saturday, May 19, 2012 - 12:00pm
UPDATED: Saturday, May 19, 2012 - 12:04pm
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — Once every 15 seconds, a burglar breaks into a home in the US, but some things make your house a prime target.
No one knows those trade secrets better than a career criminal.
With help from a reformed burglar, homeowners are finding out how to keep homes safe.
If a burglar wants in your home, former burglar Kenneth fields says there's not much that will stop him.
For years he made a living as a professional burglar, breaking and entering countless times.
In 1988 his criminal career came to an abrupt end when he was arrested on drug charges.
He says experienced burglars work the days closest to the weekend, when people are sloppy with their security.
"Mondays and Fridays. People don't like to get up on Mondays, and they're trying to get home on Fridays," said Fields.
Once at the house, he'd look for clues that there is valuable stuff inside.
Things like nice flower pots, expensive kid's toys, decorative door wreaths... Then, he'd get creative to try to get a better look.
"I might come and ask you, do you need your lawn mowed. So right there, I'm mowing your lawn and I'm scoping out your place and you a nice lady, sir would you like some cold water or lemonade? And you inviting me in. It happens," said the former burglary Fields.
Fields says alarm systems never stopped him, because he could get in and out of the house before the cops arrived, but he says security cameras would make him think twice.
That's the point, says David Torres, owner of security cameras Inc.
And he says homeowners should go one step further, putting digital locks on exterior doors.
Fields says burglars tend to stay away from communities where neighbors know each other because they can quickly spot outsiders, and he says nothing beats a good watch dog.